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  Chloe Dygert makes a stop at the Tour of California and US Nationals on road to team pursuit in Rio  
 
   
  Chloe Dygert on the podium as best young rider at Tour of California. Photo: Getty Images - Tour of California
 
     
  The past twelve months have seen Chloe Dygert emerge as one of the top talents in two disciplines. After winning the junior time trial and road race at the UCI Road World Championships, Dygert was offered the opportunity to try the track and the team pursuit. In a matter of months the 19 year old had claimed bronze at the Hong Kong World Cup and been selected for the Track World Championships.

In just her second World Championships and her first in the elite ranks Dygert combined with Sarah Hammer, Kelly Catlin and Jennifer Valente to post the second and third fastest team pursuit times in history on the way to her third world title.

Dygert's road to Rio made a stop in California, for her first ever UCI race the Tour of California. Despite a difficult first day Dygert claimed her first professional victory on stage two, winning the team time trial with TWENTY16-Ridebiker. Before finishing sixth overall and the best young rider. Less than a week later Dygert impressed again finishing eighth in the US time trial national championships, just four seconds from the top five in a field including Olympic and World Championships.

With just over two months to the Rio Games, Dygert is back on the track with her pursuit teammates with her eyes on the ultimate prize Olympic gold.

Tour of California was your first UCI race heading in how were you feeling and what were your expectations?

I was definitely excited, but I've been so off and on lately so I didn't go into the race expecting much. The first day was rough for me, with the altitude and the uphill finish so I lost a lot of confidence after that stage. But having Kristin Armstrong on the team who was third in the stage, was super stoked for the TTT the next day and really got the positive energy going throughout the team which really motivated me and I was ready to race after that.

Team upset a number of more favoured teams to claim the stage 2 TTT what did it mean to stand on the podium with a stage win in your first UCI race?

It was pretty awesome I'm not going to lie, we worked really hard as a team learning the course and learning each other's strengths and weaknesses so I was really happy with the win!

Finished the race with a stage win, sixth overall and the best young rider are you happy with your performance?

I was pleased with finishing sixth, it was nice to get a chance to see where I stand at that level of racing.

On the track you raced with Sarah Hammer, one of the top riders of her generation and on the road with Kristin Armstrong, a world and Olympic champion what is it like racing with them and what have you learnt from them?

It's an honour being able to learn from these two, on and off them bike. I'm very lucky to have them apart of my life. They both have taught me so much, from Kristin trying to teach me how to ride no hands to Sarah telling me how to ride on the track with other people on it.

Stepping up from junior to senior can often be a challenge especially going in to a World Tour race with a field including world and Olympic champions how did you find the step up?

Training with my coach, Joe Holmes, and my fiancÚ who rides for Axeon Hagens Berman, Logan Owen, I was pretty confident in my ability to at least be competitive at that level. Also to Andy Sparks, the women's team pursuit coach, he's taught me how to suffer in ways I didn't think were possible.


Chloe Dygert with Marianne Vos. Photo: Supplied

You posted a photo on Instagram after the final stage with Marianne Vos what was it like racing in the peloton with her?

Lance Armstrong and Marianne Vos. Those were two names I knew of before I started cycling. So getting a chance to race with her was pretty awesome.

Finished fifth in the time trial at nationals were you happy with how it went?

For my first time trial longer than 35 minutes and my second time on that bike all year I was happy with it. Yes, seeing that I was only four seconds from fifth I was a little bummed but that just makes me want to work that much harder to try to get gold next year!

Claimed the team pursuit world title back in March, your third world title in six months has it had time to sink in what you have achieved?

Yeah, it's been a great year and I owe it to my coach, Joe, along with everyone else who helped me get there!

Posted the second and third fastest times in history in London. When you did that first test on the track did you think less than a year later you would be a world champion and heading to the Olympic Games as one of the favourites?

No, but I'm so humbled and honoured to be apart of it.
 
 
       
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